By D. Lanier Shook July 26, 2013
The Asheville Citizen Times has provided valuable information to its readers for over a century and a half, but one of the most valuable articles appeared last week. If you missed “Armadillos Scurry Into WNC” then you should click here to read the article online. It was information you need to know.
Last year we reported on the dangers posed by armadillos but this new development justifies a refresher. You need to AVOID ARMADILLOS. Armadillos can transmit Hansen’s Disease—also known as leprosy— to humans. A October 2011 story discussed a man had hunted armadillos as a teenager. Later in life his immune system became compromised and he developed lesions caused by Mycobacterium leprae bacteria. Click here to read the entire story from everydayhealth.com. A doctor in the story is quoted as saying that this is one skin disease that does not respond to treatment.
- Click here to read the New York Times story on the same event. It also discusses medical treatment which is effective in many cases. Click here to read the reader comments on the article, which are almost as interesting as the article.
- Click here to read an L.A. Times article. This article discusses the use of armadillos in the search for a vaccine for Hansen’s disease.
- Click here to read the story in the Scientific American about the subject. Author Katherine Harmon quotes dermatologist John Abide of Greenville, Mississippi as saying that if his car ran over an armadillo he would wash it off.
Armadillos are a threat to public health and your health. Please avoid them, have your children avoid them, and please become educated about this public health threat. And here’s a big thanks to the Citizen Times for carrying the story. Once again you should click here to read their article at their website.